Happy New Year!
No matter how different your last 365 days were to mine, we share the same reality regarding time: time is passing, and it slows down for no-one.
My last two years have been turbulent and at times I have been up against the wall.
Two years ago I found myself in a strange place – both my daughters had left home for university and I was also in the process of separating from my husband, I suddenly went from a house full of family to living on my own. It was a challenging time, and I learnt much from that period.
My first lesson was not to underestimate the extent of loss and acknowledge the grief that goes with it. I had to find a way to process the grief and not shove it under the carpet.
Here are my three big learnings of 2019:
No 1. Time is a healer
When you are going through times of difficult change be reassured that time is a healer.
As an extreme activist, I was of the mindset that I just needed to get on and do things. By distracting myself with work and people and travel, that would be the answer to this intense period of change. I rejected the notion that time was going to heal my pain.
However, this ‘busyness’ only got me so far.
What helped was giving myself time to process and reflect at intermittent stages, often with the help of good friends and family.
Two years down the road I feel very different. I’m in a very fortunate place. I have a wonderful job and a beautiful home. My family are all around me. I have a rich set of friends and a job that completely inspires me. I now see that I had not lost what was most important to me – what had changed was a family ‘unit’.
It wasn’t until time passed that I could recognise that what I had all along was right in front of my nose.
No 2. NOTHING ever stays the same
In times of stress the one thing I have learnt is that NOTHING ever stays the same.
Don’t cling on to what is sad or happy – both will change no matter how hard we hang on.
You may be happy one day and the next down and depressed. That’s not to say you will feel the same way the day after.
What’s wonderful about the last two years is that I’ve begun to experience the freedom that comes in letting go a set of emotions. It is fantastically reassuring to know that when you are in a dark place, this is only temporary.
No 3. DO THINGS…..get into action!
Get into action but only act on things that create positive results for you.
The actions don’t have to be pleasant, but the results need to be good. It could be something uncomfortable like starting a new exercise program. It might not feel great to begin with, but sooner or later you start to feel stronger and fitter.
If you want to learn new things and connect to more people, you may want to start a course. Joining a group may be daunting and may require you to move out of your comfort zone. But the results may will be positive if friendship and learning is what is missing for you.
Actions help shift a mood, unblock the mind. They are integral to change.